Fall 2018

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Happy Christmas from the Trendsetters!  Hope you’re getting to spend lots of time with the ones you love this holiday season.

This year for our annual holiday shoot, we decided to have our theme be “Holiday Party” so we could have a bit of an excuse to get fancy! Some of these looks are geared toward Christmas parties, some toward New  Years Eve parties–we left the theme pretty open! Also included in this post–just as a fun bonus–are some cute pictures from our pajama-themed holiday party!

Photography by Aleksandra Wąs | @_fotografed

Brooklyn

Brooklyn in glittery black dress, cream cardigan, tights and brown boots

For the Holiday shoot, my vision for my outfit was based upon a New Years Eve look. I wanted the outfit to be warm, sexy, and glimmery all in one. The front and center piece for the outfit was the sparkly dress. This piece was glamourous and form fitting to my body, a perfect style for a New Year’s theme. To make the look more cozy, I added charcoal nylons to accent the dress, a creme off-the-shoulder sweater, and knee-high dusty grey boots. To complete this dusky, winter look, I did a smokey eye for makeup with soft highlights on my cheekbones. For me, I always try to make my outfits match and have the pieces complement one another in color and texture. The sparkly dress had enough boldness and attention, where I was able to add some soft accessories to balance the look out. I also added silver drop earrings and a ring shaped like a bow. These accessories added a pop of fun to an overall more serious look. My inspiration for my outfits lately has been the pop artist, Ariana Grande and her style. She presents such a chic and feminine look that I adore. I love the basic tones of grey, black, and white turned into glamorous outfits. The outfit complimented my personality as I love all things sparkling and on the next level. This outfit would be perfect for the social butterfly and the trendsetter. I wanted my outfit to be classy, chic, and scream, “Thank u, next.”

Brooklyn posing in front of a large tree with lights

Brooklyn posing with a strand of lights

Brooklyn showing off her off-the-shoulder sweater

Brooklyn posing showing off the glittery black dress

Ashley

Ashley in red cocktail dress, black coat, gray scarf, rose gold purse, pink gloves and strappy nude heels

Where would a girl like me go for the perfect outfit for a glamorous evening out at a holiday party this winter? That’s so easy, Macy’s!! I’m just surprised this time around that my glitz & glam look for going out doesn’t include me being covered head to toe in sequins and glitter!

For my outerwear, I have my favorite winter coat in navy blue from H&M – 40% for only $36! I have my good ol’ pink kiddie gloves from forever ago, and my grey fluffy scarf from Ulta for only $14! I get so many compliments on that scarf and everyone is always feeling it, so I’ll say it one more time for the people in the back: ULTA FOR $14, GET YOURS TODAY!!!

When I went to Macy’s last year over Thanksgiving break on Black Friday, I fell head over heels in love with this red dress! I knew it was the perfect dress for any holiday occasion, but the price tag scared me as a broke college girl. It’s original price was around $75-80. Of course, it was Black Friday, so it was marked down, but for me at the time, something along the lines of $40 just wasn’t in the cards. So, I hung it back up, but it didn’t leave my mind for one second; I was constantly checking their website to see if it would go on sale again or go on clearance, but to no avail. Fast forward to Spring Break, I went with my best friend Halie to Macy’s to look at stuff, just for fun, and tucked under a few different dresses of the same color, I found my dream dress hiding marked down to $14!!! It was 2 sizes too big, but that didn’t stop me. It was a little loose but actually was more comfortable and easy to move in. I’ve had my holiday look in the back of my closet just waiting to be unveiled for months, and the most wonderful time of the year has arrived!

Ashley with no coat showing off the off-the-shoulder neckline of her dress and her necklace

Ashley looking up in front of the big tree

Ashley posing with a strand of lights

Ashley smiling

Dina

Dina in black trousers, strappy black heels, pink chunky sweater and purse

“O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
How lovely are thy branches
O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
How lovely are thy branches”  

Did you just read that or did you sing? Hahaha!

Yeah, it’s Christmas time. How lovely it is.

Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year because it always brings me joy and happiness, especially when I spend time with my family to celebrate this time. Speaking of my family, this year after 3 or 4 years spending Christmas withhout my family back home,  I finally made it to my home and get to see all my family for this Christmas. While you guys are reading this, I am already in my hometown, Papua, Indonesia. Just so you know, I’m writing this while on my way from Seattle to Japan. Hahahaha. I’m so excited to see all my family and friends. I might write an individual blog about Christmas celebration in my hometown, so you guys might hear about that a little more.

Last but not least, for this photo shoot, I wore black pants and a pink sweater, which I got from H&M. They are really comfy. To keep me warm I put on my cozy jacket that I got from Restyle Fashion Exchange. I usually go to a Christmas party with a small bag and high heels, and this time I choose my pink small bag from Ross and my heels from Rue21. I hope you guys like this style or maybe this style inspired you.

Anyways, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas

XOXO – Dina Merani

dina with a jacket, earmuffs and scarf admiring a christmas light

Dina smiling at Christmas lights

Dina

Dina with coat, scarf and earmuffs smiling

Claire

Claire, space buns, cream turtuleneck, brown patterned wide leg trousers

Happy holidays everyone! For this look I tried something new to me: pants! This is the first pair of pants I’ve bought in years; I picked up this pair of paper bag trousers last week at Böhme. The plaid wool gives me the warm and cozy feeling of Montana winter while still looking modern and high fashion. A paired this with a Goodwill turtleneck and my favorite pain of vegan Docs. I chose to put my hair in space buns as an easy idea of how to keep hair out of my face whilst I’m shoving cookies in my face at a Christmas party. I hope all of you have a happy holidays and an amazing break!

Claire posing with Christmas lights

Claire posing with christmas lights

Claire

Erin

Erin in a black strappy dress, cream cardigan, gray socks and black booties

Christmastime is here and I am so excited! As far as I’m concerned, Christmas Season started November 1st. Yep, I’m one of those.

I was so excited that the theme of this shoot was a Christmas party. I really love the elegance of formal winter fashion, and it just brings to mind all of those cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies that I spend the entire holiday season watching.

I went pretty simple for this one. Say it with me: get yourself an L.B.D. I got this little black dress on sale at H&M for like $10, I’m not joking. It comes in handy because it’s so easy to dress up or down depending on what you need it for. It’s perfect for parties.

I’m crazy about layering, so I threw on this cardigan from Target. I am obsessed with being cozy and this bad boy does the trick. Plus, with a cardigan, you can pull that move where you casually drape it off your shoulders to fake nonchalance, which is like my signature attempt to be casual. I’m also wearing these booties from Olive+Iron. They are my favorite shoes and for heels, they are actually pretty comfy, plus they are an easy addition to dress up an outfit.

I hope you all have a lovely winter break! I know I can’t wait to see my family, sip some hot cocoa, and see some old friends!

Happy Holidays!

 Erin with light strand

Erin looking over shoulder with light strand

Erin smiling over shoulder

Savannah

Savannah in black cocktail dress, tights and booties with red bow on belt

This look is an example of an easy festive outfit you can throw together with a staple item that every girl owns: A little black dress. If you are searching the stores or your closet for the perfect dress this holiday season and can’t seem to find something to wear then I hope you consider this post.

 

I have many black dresses in my wardrobe, but I settled on this one because It’s dressy and already has a “party feel” to it. I paired it with some dark gray tights because using black would’ve made the whole outfit blend together. In the winter I like to wear tights with any outfit that would otherwise reveal my legs; I just think it’s more appropriate for the season.

I cinched my waist in with a black belt, and attached a red sparkly bow to the buckle. I bought the bow at the Dollar Store, and I feel it basically makes the outfit. It kind of creates the look of a wrapped present, which is very fitting for the holidays. 😛

Additionally, I would add a large pair of red statement earrings to complete the look. Unfortunately, however, I could not find any at any of the stores I went to, so I opted for a gentle pair of gold earrings. But, I love to elevate an outfit that is fairly simple by throwing on some bold, gaudy jewelry. I think that adding a pair of big red earrings would pair beautifully with the bow, and really tie the look together.

Around the holidays it is easy to find ribbon, bows, and glitter, in green, red, and gold colors, so get creative and don’t be afraid to take a chance by making your outfit a mini art project this holiday season. You will have fun, and it’ll be unique in addition to being super cute.

Savannah with lights

Savannah laughing

Savannah with lights

Savannah smiling up at lights

Happy Holidays from all of us here at Trendsetters at the U.

out of focus star shaped light decoration

Bonus: The Trendsetters Annual Holiday Party!

Mackenzie, Tessa, Brooklyn, Ashley, a dog, Savannah and Claire in pjs with mugs in front of a tree

The group hugging in front of tree and stockings

Mackenzie's "Naughty" and "Nice" socks

Tessa in front of tree with mug with candy cane sticking out of it

Fall 2018

Winter Tips for Curly Girls

Hey Curlies! My name’s Sara and I was fortunate enough to be born with curly red hair! And if you were born lucky like me, you know that curly hair is both a blessing and a curse, but mostly the latter in the winter months.

Well don’t you worry! I’m here to help you have more good hair days and curl goals during those dreaded cold and dry winter days.

So here’s 10 Curly Girl Tips to help you out!

1.) Find out your curl pattern!

Finding your curl pattern will help you learn what products you can and can’t put in your hair. Your curl pattern can definitely change overtime and your curls can become more defined overtime with consistent good care to it, but finding out your curl pattern is a great place to start! If you need help finding yours, check out the chart below! For an example, I have mostly 3a curls with some 2c waves thrown in and sometimes on a really good hair day I can get some 3b curls!

visual chart of curl types. From left to right: 1, 2a, 2b, 2c, 3a, 3b, 3c, 4a, 4b, 4c. Curls become curlier and tighter as the numbers progress

2.) Cut out the Sulfates and Silicones!

One of the first ingredients in most shampoos are sulfates. For deep cleansing, sulfates are great! But if used all the time, they can make your hair really damaged. Sulfates strip your hair of all of it’s natural oils and make curls less defined and into a frizzy mess.

Most conditioners contain silicones. They are used to create a fake sheen in your hair that the sulfates in shampoo stripped away. They also leave a residue on your hair that only something as strong as sulfates can get out.

Sounds gross, right?!

So next time you go shopping for new hair products, look at the ingredients on the back! If you see something ending in “sulfate” or “-cone,” put it back and get something with more natural ingredients for your hair!

If you’re totally lost in trying to find natural products, try Shea Moisture! I use their coconut and hibiscus line. You can find them in really any place that sells hair products or online 

Shea Moisture curl and shine coconut and hibiscus shampoo and conditioner set

3.) NO Heat!

Everyone knows that using heat tools is bad for your hair, but this is especially true for curly girls. So even though it’s cold during the winter months, try not to put super hot water, any heat styling tool, or a hot blow dryer on your hair. If your hair is still wet and you need to go outside without it freezing, try diffusing your hair with warm or cool air.

Here’s me back in 2014 when I used to heat style my hair almost everyday to re-curl my curls because of how self-conscious I was. My curls somehow survived, but I ended up having to cut off over 8 inches last year because of how damaged my hair was from all that heat.

Sara in 2014 with heat styled curled hair

4.) Co-wash as much as possible  

What’s co-washing? In basic terms, it means to just wash your hair with water and a silicone free conditioner. By not shampooing it, it helps keep the natural oils in your hair, therefore making your curls more defined. It may feel gross the first few times you don’t use shampoo, but trust me, your hair will get used to it pretty quick and love you for it!

 

5.) Squish to condish

“Squish to condish” is a way of rinsing your conditioner out and at the same time enhancing your curls

Here’s the basics of it:

  1. Add enough conditioner in your hair to make it slippery and a “seaweed” texture
  2. Comb through your hair with your fingers to get all of the knots out
  3. Place your hair in a bun or under a shower cap while you finish up your shower to give the conditioner time to soak in
  4. When your ready, put your hair under the water for just a few seconds, allowing it to get soaking wet
  5. Flip your head over and out of the stream of water, and squish your hair few times, getting the conditioner out
  6. Repeat the rinse and squish a few times until you get the desired amount of conditioner out
  7. You want to leave a bit of the conditioner in your hair

If you’re confused and want a visual tutorial on how to “squish to condish,” just look up “squish to condish curly hair” on YouTube and you’ll find lots of great demos

Here’s one I recommend watching!

6.) Don’t dry your hair with a plain ol’ towel

Regular bath towels create loads of frizz, and of course curly girls don’t want that!

Instead, try a t-shirt or a microfiber towel to scrunch your hair dry

7.) Find out what your hair likes!

Curly hair in the winter is a constant struggle to get a perfect balance of protein and moisture in order to obtain those perfect curls. My hair loves protein, but definitely craves moisture in the winter months. I use hair masques, deep conditioning, and oil treatments to help trap the moisture in.

Some curls also hate glycerin like mine, so experiment with different ingredients until you find something that’ll make your hair the bomb!

This masque is especially good for those with damaged or dry hair like me!

Shea Moisture raw shea butter deep treatment masque

8.) Finger-Coil the heck out of your curls!

Finger-coiling is a way of styling your hair after applying product and detangling your hair in order to get the most defined curls.

I recently learned the magic ways of finger-coiling, and look at those curls go!

Sara showing the back of her head to show how good her curls look after finger coiling

 

9.) Find a routine and stick with it!

Your curls are your baby and just like kids, they can sometimes be resistant to change. So if find something that works and makes your curls look popping, stick with it!

I co-wash every 2-3 days, shampoo every 2-4 washes, and deep condition or do an oil treatment about every two weeks.

Here’s my routine on deep conditioning days:

  1. Wet hair
  2. Apply hair masque (enough so it feels like seaweed!) to soaking wet hair and comb through all knots with fingers or wide tooth comb
  3. Plop in shower cap or microfiber hair turban for 1-2 hours (Usually about two episodes of a TV show)
  4. Rinse out masque and shampoo with sulfate free shampoo
  5. Squish to condish
  6. Keep head upside down and apply hair mousse with praying hands to soaking wet hair
  7. Apply a pea-size amount of hair gel with praying hands to soaking wet hair
  8. Flip right-side-up and divide hair into three sections (crown, and divide remaining hair in a middle part)
  9. Apply a pea-sized amount of gel to each section
  10. Distribute product with Denman brush
  11. Finger-coil
  12. Scrunch partly dry with t-shirt
  13. Plop in microfiber hair turban for about 20 minutes
  14. Scrunch dry again with t-shirt of micro-fiber towel
  15. Air dry and fluff hair when completely dry
  16. Partly blow dry with warm air if needed

Here’s my products:

From left to right: Aussie Instant Freeze gel, DevaCurl One Condition Original, Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus shampoo and conditioner, Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus hair mousse, 7 row Denman Brush with three rows taken out, wide toothed shower comb, Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque

Saras hair products back row left to right, described above

10.) Love your curls for what they are!!

Sometimes even with all the hard work curly girls put in, curls don’t want to cooperate. And that’s okay! That’s part of the fun of having curly hair! So even on the rough days, be your own curly inspo  😘

Here’s some that I’ll leave you with:

For more inspo, join the “Curly Girl (Method) Support Group International” on Facebook! There’s over 100,000 members!

side view of brown hair curly inspored hair curly insposelfie of Saras curls. Snapchat caption "Loving todays curls, heart emoji, smiley" with "Flawless" filterblack hair curly inspo

Sara

 

Catch ya later, curlies!!

xoxo

— Sara ❤💖

Profile of Sara

 

Photo credits:

@merrycharacterphotography

@saradigginsphoto

Pinterest

Shea Moisture